Cork Roadbed poor outer shape?

WFOJeff Jan 20, 2019

  1. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    I don’t remember cork having rough edges in the 80s, as mentioned the quality of cork that is used has probably been reduced in the last 30 odd years. A sharp single razor blade and a steady hand wouldn’t seem to be an insurmountable fix to trim it down, even if all you did was trim it square and use ballast for the shoulder itself.
     
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  2. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    I just run an 11 blade at an angle down the center. My goal is to eliminate the "J-hook" where the factory knife did not cut entirely through. The side opposite the J hook has a void, so if I was unsuccessful, I just filled it with ballast. In any case, I usually just ran a 100-grit sanding stick along the bevel for my Portsmouth Branch. That meant 2200 feet of bevel, but I don't recall it took much time.
     
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  3. WFOJeff

    WFOJeff TrainBoard Member

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    Good info, never stopped to think about all of that.
     
  4. WFOJeff

    WFOJeff TrainBoard Member

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    I attempted to use a few razor knives (wears blades out fast) and slight sanding to get the closet shape I could evenly both sides.
    Lots of tips and tricks here, sounds like finding the right plan for the particular track sections is the main thing.
     
  5. WFOJeff

    WFOJeff TrainBoard Member

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    :)
     
  6. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

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    Cork roadbed edges are also why people think Arizona Rock & Minerals ballast is expensive. If you sand off the sharp edges and paint the cork the ballast color, you use a LOT less ballast! Remember, in N Scale we are making sandpaper, not a mountain of ballast...
     
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  7. Onizukachan

    Onizukachan TrainBoard Member

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    Great tip/idea Tony. I was jst thinking about that last night when I was Organizing my paint colors.
     
  8. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I found that when I got a piece of cork with an especially nasty edge, I could just take a piece of 120 grit sandpaper and pass it along the edge and it would knock the edge down in one quick pass.

    And worrying about using the least amount of ballast possible is a false economy, like saving money by using dollar store motor oil in your new car.
     
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  9. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

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    I, of course, disagree. It’s a LOT easier to paint and use a small amount of ballast than try and build up a shoulder to cover the light tan of the cork roadbed. If you miss a spot, the sub roadbed is the same color. Cost is merely an indication there is a better way, not the cost itself.
     
  10. beachdude54

    beachdude54 New Member

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    I just bought 3mm rolled cork today at my local Hobby Lobby. The roll is 24" x 48". The price was $14.99. With a 40% off coupon it came to under $10. Beautiful stuff! They also had thinner rolls. Maybe 1mm or 1.5mm. Same price but the rolls were 24" x 96". I think I will get a roll of that tomorrow. You can use the same coupon, but not on the same day. Coupon was on their website. Expires 3/9/19, I think!
     
  11. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

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    Michaels has similar coupons and cork. You can get the coupon on the front page of their website without having to sign up for anything.
     
  12. beachdude54

    beachdude54 New Member

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    I stand corrected on the thickness. The first roll I got was 4mm. The second was twice as long and 2.5mm.
     
  13. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    The 2.5mm translates to 15 inches in N scale while the 4.0 equals 25 inches in N scale. The label on the Midwest Products cork I got states it is 3mm thick or about 20 inches.
     
  14. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    Anyone try the cork sheets from Hobby Lobby? (24" x 96") with the 40% off coupon on there web site makes it reasonable.
    Didn't see the post above never mind.

    Don
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  15. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Lots of cork sheet products offered on Ebay some with thicknesses of 1.5 mm. That is about 10 inches in N scale, good for less maintained branch lines or sidings. I haven't seen cork that thin in any hobby store.
     
  16. dualgauge

    dualgauge TrainBoard Member

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    I have seen one railroad built with half of the n-scale cork. Gives a much steeper ballast profile.
     

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